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What is this medication?

Antineoplastic Agent, Hormone; Appetite Stimulant; Progestin

Megestrol (tablet) is indicated for treatment of breast cancer, and endometrial cancer.

How does this medication work? 

Megestrol is a synthetic progestin with antiestrogenic properties which interferes with the normal estrogen cycle and results in a lower LH titer. Megestrol may also have a direct effect on the endometrium, as well as stimulating appetite by antagonizing the metabolic effects of catabolic cytokines. Megestrol is an antineoplastic progestin thought to act through an antileutenizing effect mediated via the pituitary.

How should I take this medication? 

Breast Cancer: 
Tablet: Take 40mg 4 times daily for at least 2 months.

Endometrial Cancer: 
Tablet: Take 40mg to 320mg daily in divided doses for at least 2 months.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Megestrol make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Megestrol use has been associated with rare but serious adverse events such as adrenal suppression, cushing syndrome, AIDS-related cachexia, diabetes, thromboembolism, and vaginal bleeding/discharge.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose.  Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed.  Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Hypertension, headache, pain, insomnia, skin rash, hyperglycemia, decreased libido, diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, nausea, dyspepsia, impotence, weakness, fever, cardiomyopathy, chest pain, edema, palpitations, peripheral edema, confusion, convulsions, depression, hypoesthesia, neuropathy, paresthesia, alopecia, dermatological disease, diaphoresis, pruritus, vesicobullous dermatitis, albuminuria, gynecomastia, increased lactate dehydrogenase, abdominal pain, constipation, oral moniliasis, sialorrhea, xerostomia, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infection, urinary frequency, leukopenia, sarcoma, hepatomegaly, candidiasis, herpes virus infection, infection, amblyopia, cough, dyspnea, pharyngitis, pulmonary disorder, pneumonia.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Megestrol, only common ones.